Dublin City University (DCU) has been named the Irish University of 2021 by the Sunday Times.
The Sunday Times Good University Guide was first published in 2002, and has awarded DCU this title for the third time, having won formerly in 2002 and 2004.
The Sunday Times highlighted that DCU is known for its inclusivity and “has been putting people first since it opened in 1980.”
Daire Keogh, President of DCU said to the Sunday Times, that “socioeconomic access was a hallmark from the foundation of the University.”
The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) grants an opportunity for those who may come from a socio-economically challenged background to go to college
“We hope the university will be defined by the people we include, as opposed to the people we exclude” Keogh added.
Raluca Adronic, a senior ambassador of DCU’s access programme and former DCU student who availed of the scheme said: “DCU is so engaging with their students, there is no judgement regardless of their background.”
“I’ve met people from all over the world just by studying and working within DCU campus, and the open door policy allows this communication to happen” said Adronic
DCU was also recognised for its adaption towards Covid-19 and the policies enacted to ensure student’s education and wellbeing is prioritised during the pandemic.
Keogh referenced this to The Sunday Times when he said “I often say our people are our principles, are our compass in the Covid fog.
“We were the first out of the blocks to offer students flexible accommodation so they could book by night almost like a hotel or hostel” said Keogh.
“That spared them the need to make large-scale commitments and removed anxiety and unnecessary cost” added Keogh.
“You can now book a room for maybe just even one night or three nights a week, with flexible rates” said Adronic. “This is something that has never been done before and it is helping students.”
“The student union is also constantly updating the student community through social media and emails to ensure students stay informed” she added.
“What [DCU] can learn from Covid and being awarded this title for the third time is the little ideas and the process of adapting to new circumstances can be good” said Anarcia. “Change doesn’t have to be scary.”
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